I know, I know. Nobody wants to talk about calories. We’ve come to think of them like ants — annoying little things that won’t stay out of our lives. We would like to put out a “calorie hotel” and rid ourselves of the critters.
Actually, they are only units of energy and, while we can’t exterminate them, there is a way to manage calories to make the weight stay gone forever. Painlessly. Are you ready to hear it?
So here’s what you do. Decide on a reasonable weight — not necessarily what you weighed at 18. You are not required to fit into your old wedding dress. It’s only if you can’t fit into your old maternity clothes that you need to worry.
Suppose you know you would feel healthiest and at your best at a weight of 140 lbs. (We aren’t going for pencil-thin, remember?) Multiply your goal weight by 10 to get the number of calories that will sustain you at that weight. If you are doing other things right — namely the low glycemic eating plan — you would sustain 140 lbs. by eating 1400 calories. There’s room for lots of eating in 1400 calories, especially if you make wise choices.
Start now eating 1400 calories a day and you will lose weight. You will lose weight until you get to around 140 lbs. Then keep on doing what you are doing and you will stay there forever.
By that time you will have established a habit and it will be natural to you. Simple.
Why didn’t we figure this out already? Mainly because of the stupid mindset that we have in our culture. We want to be thin, but at the same time, we want to indulge ourselves. So we think, “I’ll do this for a while and then I can go back to eating like I want.”
Which is why 95% of the people who lose weight gain it back again. Temporary “fixes” don’t work. You have a higher goal now. You want more than to look good for a while. You want to feel great and be able to be strong and active for the rest of your life.
Pray about it and ask the Lord what He would have you weigh. Agree to cooperate with Him to eat within the calories that would take you there and keep you there. You don’t have to do it perfectly, but if you keep in that range, you will be going the right direction. And, as you make this part of your lifestyle, you will learn the best choices that make it easiest for you.
One final caution — don’t overdo it! If you are an obsessive person like I am, you will set an unrealistic low number. It should NOT be less than 1200. If you have lots of weight to lose and are used to eating many more calories than that, you might do better making incremental changes. If you are sustaining 300+ lbs., you should set a goal, say of 200 lbs., with that amount of calories. As you reach the goal, you can adjust the calories downward.
You can also adjust the calories upward if you can’t handle the restrictions. If you are too hungry with 1400 calories — maybe you don’t need to weigh 140 lbs. Maybe 160 lbs. would be okay and the extra 200 calories would make the plan doable for you. You are unique, and we will work together to find the plan that is right for you.
Also, keep in mind that not all calories are the same. Calories from high glycemic foods will give you a blood sugar spike, a big insulin dump, and the message to your body to store up fat. You can, in fact, lose weight by concentrating on low glycemic foods — but if overeating has been a long-established habit with you, we’ll have to take on the calorie challenge. You need to know how much you should eat — and know that you can stick to it forever.
Eating to live and living for Christ,
Susan Jordan Brown